Philadelphia – Mayor Jim Kenney and Councilmember Cherelle Parker announced the award of a $10 million grant to carry out major renovations to the Olney Recreation Center. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax and a signature initiative of Mayor Jim Kenney’s, Rebuild is committing hundreds of millions of dollars to restore parks, recreation centers, and libraries in neighborhoods across the City.
“Rebuild is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by investing in parks, recreation centers, and libraries,” said Mayor Kenney. “The Olney Recreation Center is a hub of this community, and we need to invest in this site so that it remains a safe and productive place for the kids here to play sports, meet friends, and have fun.”
The 61-year-old recreation center is in need of a roof replacement, a new floor for the gymnasium, new basketball and tennis courts, and a computer center. Additional improvements and upgrades at the site will be agreed upon using feedback and input from residents and the community.
“Olney is home to some of strongest community-based athletics clubs in the city,” said Councilmember Cherelle Parker. “Olney residents have invested so much time, dedication, and care to this rec center over the years, and we deserve a modern, safe, and state of the art facility for our kids. Thanks to Rebuild, Olney will finally receive the major investment necessary to give young people in this neighborhood the absolute best of what Philadelphia has to offer.”
The grant was awarded to the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) organization, one of 20 pre-qualified non-profit organizations approved to lead Rebuild projects. The first step in the $10 million project will be extensive resident engagement, which began with a community meeting at the rec center last night. Attended by both Mayor Kenney and Councilmember Parker, the meeting was an opportunity for PHMC and the Rebuild team to meet residents and rec center regulars, as well as to hear directly from the community about their hopes and aspirations for the site.
“Public Health Management Corporation applauds Mayor Kenney and Councilmember Parker for spearheading this important project. We are excited to partner with the community to transform Olney Rec into a world class community center worthy of the surrounding residents,” said Richard J. Cohen, President and CEO, Public Health Management Corporation. “Rebuild is a true community effort – and its members’ vision will drive this project toward the development of a space where youth and community members can play, be active, connect with one another, and participate in the programs delivered by outstanding community partners and organizations.”
Rebuild will issue similar grants to pre-qualified non-profit organizations to help deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities improvements to Philadelphia’s parks, libraries and recreation centers in the coming years. Rebuild recently announced grants to renovate the Cecil B. Moore, Heitzman, and Vare Recreation Centers, as well as the Glavin Park and Playground.
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Public Health Management Corporation is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices and evidence-based guidelines to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit www.phmc.org, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.